gone.

she passed away on saturday.  we did her memorial service last night.  today we will bury her ashes on top of her husband.

i was just looking over some of my previous posts.  it’s so fresh that reading them brings me back to the mindset of a week or a month ago.  i think the hardest part about fresh death is that my mind hasn’t completely integrated that she’s gone now, so i still switch back and forth.  dying.  dead.  here… when?  gone.

i was running like a maniac before she died.  first it was back and forth to her house.  then it was back and forth to the hospice.  go to work.  go to the gym.  planning the stops i needed to make that day.  when she passed, my cousins and i still had tasks to accomplish.  meet with the funeral home.  meet with the celebrants.  put together a dvd of pictures.  make the posters.  find those mementos my aunt wanted displayed.  write the eulogy.

she talked to us before she died about how if she could visit us after she died, she would do it in little signs.  that was a sweet little comfort.  my mom got what she believed to be her sign right away.  i think of her signs to me more as the legacy of our conversations, of her inspiring words and direction.  so i go about my day with my thoughts wrapped up in things like, is this how she wanted me to do it?  she talked to me about this aspect of myself, yes i’ll make this choice right now.  this opportunity, is this something she sent to me? 

those thoughts and memories and the mad search for meaning i fill my mind with… that’s definitely a positive way for me to carry out a personal legacy with her.  people say your loved ones that pass live on, stay with you, they live in your heart.  i believe that.  i can call her up anytime with sweet memories and imaginary conversations.

but i’m also coming to the sad realization that when i calm my mind and just sit with it… she’s not here.  her spirit is not hanging around to comfort me for the rest of my life, she’s not my personal angel.  she’s free.  i can conjure her memory and feel my experience of her, but she’s gone.

before she died, i was tied up in sadness, pre-mourning.  i think part of me thought that i was getting the hard part out of the way before she died.  i was getting impatient, devastated by the act of saying goodbye again and again.  i was saying to myself, this has to end, God please take her so we can move on into the mourning!  what a ridiculous wish.  what did i want to move on to?  this?

death is really hard to wrap my head around.  i thought she would die and we’d be sad and then we’d move back into familiar routines of life.  and that will happen.  but there’s this big empty space staring at me that i don’t know what to do with.  no more caretaking, no more fear about when and how she’s going to die, no more what am i gonna do?  just this empty space where her life was.  so strange.

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